I have to admit that I am technologically challenged with serious leanings towards Luddism. I was probably the last person in the Western world to get a mobile phone and my favourite days are those when I think I have lost it or forgotten it somewhere, leaving me with that liberating sense of being uncontactable. Sadly, it doesn't last because when I find the damn thing, it's inevitably bursting with missed calls and messages, all of which serve to bring me straight back down to earth. Sometimes I long for the days when all we had was the local phone box and there didn't seem to be any urgent need to contact anybody, it could always wait until the next time we saw them.
Likewise with computers; I am sure they are great if you know how to use them but I barely know how to upload (or is it download) a picture. What's more, I seem to have an inbuilt resistance to learning how to use them. As soon as someone starts trying to talk me through it, my eyes glaze over and I lose the will to live.
Strangely then, I actually really like the idea of social media. Facebook is somewhat tiresome because I have a life draining, eye boggling and completely unseemly addiction to Bejeweled Blitz, but I love Twitter. I suppose I am fairly new to it and I have never experienced any of the vitriol that is supposedly rampant so maybe I am a little bit wet behind the ears on the subject. I can't help wondering, however, how much the problems are exaggerated. I would never tweet anything that I wouldn't be happy to actually say to another person and surely most other twitterers are the same.
In my experience, the conduct of my fellow twitterers has been something of a revelation. I have found everyone to be supportive and kind. Interestingly, the idea that none of it is real and people just create cyber identities to hide behind also doesn't ring true for me. There are definitely some of my Twitter world pals that I have taken to more than others. Something shines through in their tweets that makes me think if I knew them I would like them. It could be warmth, humour, kindness and surely that has to be some sort of offshoot of who that person really is. Despite our supposed anonymity, I think we reveal more of ourselves than we maybe imagine.
Lot's of good has come from social media, after all look how it has politicised people and made the world feel smaller. I like the way it offers a little insight into people's lives, people who may live a million miles away and with whom we have no physical connection whatsoever. It allows us to feel connected with humanity and surely that can only be a good thing? There may be social misfits out there, venting their spleen online because they daren't do it in person, but why let them ruin it for the rest of us? Keep tweeting I say and let's make social media a force for good.